Jon Bap’s sprawling new album, Yesterday’s Homily, is like a color wheel of music with a rainbow of sounds. The indigo new jack swing compliments the turquoise jazz; magenta funk dazzles and dances with maroon trap. The album’s sounds are reflected in the album’s artwork, which is a Basquiat-esque, abstract expressionist masterpiece. A third-eye watches over a cross intertwined with a rose. A butterfly zips out of a three-headed muse, in the direction of the sun. The marigold border saturates this surreal artwork, the centerpiece of which is a cartoon drawing of home.
Bap brings bombastic beats with this bizarre album that does not fit into any categories. The 42-minute long, 22-song album is in the tradition of J Dilla’s Donuts. Each song is roughly two minutes long, excluding “The Interdependence of Everything” which is over seven minutes long and “Free Trap Etudes, Op. 39-XII. Trap Goddess” which is under 30 seconds long. No matter the length, no song feels too rushed or drawn out.
A contemporary comparison of Yesterday’s Homily could be to Ricky Eat Acid’s Talk to You Soon. Both Bap and Ricky Eat Acid combine genres to churn out their masterpieces. The music is eccentric and esoteric. Although weird is normalized in music today, there is a vale of shadows for the weird. The weird lives on in dungeons and dragons full of artists like serpentwithfeet, Yves Tumor, Ricky Eat Acid and Jon Bap.
A homily is a commentary that follows a reading of scripture. Bap performs as if he were divinely inspired by yesterday’s homily. His music is unorthodox yet urbane. Like Kamasi Washington and Thundercat, Bap could capitalize on the resurgence of an appreciation for modern jazz. Bap’s fame is growing and, yet, he still works at Chipotle making burritos during the day while making music at night.
“Queen Chimera Pt. 1” has an addictive 5/4 time measure that makes it feel like it came out of a 1973 DJ Kool Herc block party. It is the best song on the album next to “The Interdependence of Everything,” which is an allusion to Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain.” “Do What You Want With Your Life (Regardless of What They Will Think)” has an uplifting title and Bap does whatever he wants with the music, regardless of what anyone will think of it. His brilliance is with his avant-garde radical experimentation. Listening to this album is a plot twist for your ears. No matter what you’re currently vibing to, this album is sure to surprise.
However, this album is not for everyone. The timid listener will be scared away by its nonconformity. If you’re up for the challenge, you should try to find the beauty of this album. Yesterday’s Homily is not easy, nor will it be popular. It’s a layered album with disjointed sounds that somehow are sewn together.
Yesterday’s Homily is there for those who find delight in the weird and absurd. Bap stayed true to himself and made an album that does not try to be a part of the popular stew of pop music today. His musical abilities give him the capability to perform in almost any genre; what he chooses to do is a little bit of everything. The result: a Jackson Pollock painting turned into music.
Contact Tristan Niskanen at [email protected]